tocratic founders represented by a sorrowing Countess Gerburg,rna bashful Markgrave Hermann and his blooming Polishrnwife, Reglindis, a cringing Count Tyzzo of Thuringia, an angryrnCount Wilhelm, a masterful Markgrave Ekkehard and hisrnlovely wife, Uta.rnIn The Story of Art, Ernst Gombrich added this commentrnbelow a reproduction of the determined Ekkehard (shownrnrolling up the sleeve of his sword-gripping arm) and of Utarn(whose invisible right hand is shown raising the collar of herrncloak, out of modesty or perhaps to shield her cheek from arncruel wind):rnThe sculptor who was given the task of representing thernfounders of Naumburg Cathedral in Germany, roundrnabout 1260, almost convinces us that he portrayed actualrnknights of his time…. It is not very likely that he reallyrndid—these founders had been dead many years, andrnwere nothing but a name to him. But his statues of menrnand women seem to have come to life under his hands.rnThey look immensely energetic and vigorous—the truerncontemporaries of Simon of Montfort.rnWhat was here precociously emerging was the “realism” orrn”naturalism” that was to blossom forth several centuries later.rnThis was something that Nietzsche, an admirer of the “glorious”rnRenaissance who regarded the Middle Ages as a period ofrnintellectual aberration dominated by deceptive, otherworldlyrnfantasies from which the European had to be rescued in orderrnto become “adult,” should normally have recognized. But Irncannot recall his ever having mentioned those 12 extraordinaryrnstatues in any of his letters or published works. Being extremelyrnshortsighted and obliged to wear glasses, he may never havernlooked at them closely. Indeed, those statues do not seem tornhave attracted much attention until the 1920’s, when an enterprisingrnphotographer, Walter Hegger, using a stepladder andrnfloodlights, for the first time “revealed” these masterpieces ofrn”Expressionistic” art. Overnight these epic figures were transformedrninto models of Germanic virility, nobility (and alsorncowardice) in a wave of books, novels, and even plays, which becamerna flood during the “heroic” years of the Third Reich.rn(Needless to say, the same epic figures were even more rapidlyrn”demoted” during the ensuing 44 years of the Ulbricht-rnHonecker tyranny.)rnFor the weak-sighted Nietzsche, Naumburg’s cathedral wasrnmuch less a repository of splendid statuary than a temple of celestialrnsound. From his piano-playing father he had inherited arngift for music, and one of the first things his widowed motherrndid when they moved from the rural vicarage of Rocken tornNaumburg was to entrust the young Fritz to the tutelage of thernfinest pianist in the city (a woman, as it happened). The directorrnof the cathedral choir was a first-rate musician named Wettig,rnwhose wife, a former opera singer, contributed greatly tornthe success of their recitals. From the somber classrooms of thernDomgymnasium it was but a step to the cathedral nave, intornwhose echoing semidarkness the young Nietzsche would creeprnto listen to the soaring voices. The impression made on him byrnthe Dies irae and the heavenly benediction of Mozart’s Requiem,rnduring the autumn rehearsals leading up to All Saints’rnDay, was so overpowering that it penetrated “to the very marrowrnof my bones,” as he later described it, and the same feelingrnof something ineffably sublime came over him again while listeningrnto Handel’s judas Makkaheus and Haydn’s Creation.rnOf one thing the young Nietzsche was fully aware—his “Polish”rnancestry. Naumburg’s founders—Ekkehard and otherrnmembers of his family—were the Markgrafen (military commanders)rnof the Germanic border region of Jena. During thernlast decades of the 11th century, they were encouraged by twornemperors—Otto I and Otto II—to advance the limits of thernGermanic Empire eastward into territory then inhabited byrnSlavs. This they did by founding a “new town” (Neu-burg,rnlater Naumburg) near the confluence of the Unstrut and Saalernrivers. This phase of the Germanic Drang nach Osten probablyrnexplains the establishment of a rival church, the Wenzelskirche,rndedicated to the memory of a Slavic saint—the “good KingrnWenzelaus” of Bohemia, whose wintry hospitality we used torncelebrate in our Christmas carols. Here, as elsewhere in EastrnGermany, the Slavic “underdogs” have survived to this day: onernproof of it being the family name of the present-day owners ofrnthe Townhall’s Ratskeller, Chlebnicek (derived from khleb, thernSlavic word for “bread”). The name Nietzsche, too, has Slavicrnroots, being linked to the icki suffix of the Poles, to the ice (pronouncedrn”itse”) of the Czechs, and to the Germanized itz onernfinds in Leibniz, Tirpitz, and Willamowitz.rnThis sociological duality was given graphic expression by thernsculptor who carved the Naumburg Rathaus’s picturesquelyrnpainted doorway—^blue, black, and rust-red pillars, yellow lions,rnetc. It is dominated by the two armorial crests of the city’s patronrnsaints: that of Wenzelaus, patron saint of the (partly Slavic)rnBurgerstadt, and that of Peter and Paul, adopted eariy on byrnthe patrician bishops of Naumburg, who for centuries protectedrnthe cathedral with a separate wall.rnIt was in a spacious, well-lit hall inside this 16th-centuryrnRathaus that a Martin Heidegger Gesellschaft of Halle Universityrnhad decided to hold a four-day Philological Congress tornhonor the 150th anniversary of the birth of Naumburg’s mostrnillustrious (though often absent) “son.” The mere fact that arnMartin Heidegger Society should have been established inrnHalle (formerly part of the Ulbrieht-Honecker Stasi-statc), sornsoon after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, pays tribute to thernenergy with which certain Germans are pursuing the spiritualrn”reconquest” or “recolonization” of the East.rnOf the lectures delivered during those four days, everythingrnfrom Nietzsche’s “thinking poetry” to his interpretationrnof the Epicurean tradition—I will say nothing here. However, Irnam not sure that Nietzsche would have been thrilled to see hisrnphilosophy put through the abstruse, ontological wringer ofrnHeideggerian analysis. For if there is one constant to be foundrnin Nietzsche’s philosophical writings, it is surely an emphasis onrndas Werden (the process of Becoming) rather than on a ParmenideanrnSein (Being or Essence). Whence his marked preferencernfor Heraclitus, the philosopher of change and flux, andrnhis hostility to Plato and his immutable “universals.”rnI was surprised by the number of young German boys andrngirls—some of them dressed in jeans (O tempora, o moresl)—rnwho flocked into the upstairs Rathaus hall, capable of seatingrn400. But when I commented on this to one of the participants,rnhe laughed: “Don’t worry, not all of these young folk are reallyrninterested in philosophy. They’ve simply come here out of curiosityrnto see how one celebrates a 150th birthday anniversary.”rnI was even more surprised to learn from a professor of theologyrnat Gottingen that his faculty numbered 400 undergraduaternstudents, and that at Erlangen University the figure was close torn1,000. When I asked him what, as a theologian, his own posi-rn14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn